When Erwin McManus was asked about the decline of church membership he responded
“My primary assessment would be because American Christians tend to be incredibly self-indulgent. So they see the church as a place that is there for them to meet their needs and to express faith in a way that is meaningful for them. There is almost no genuine compassion or urgency about serving and reaching people who don’t know Christ.
I think the bottom line is our own spiritual narcissism. There are methods and you can talk about style, structure and music, but in the end it really comes down to your heart and what you care about.”
I read that and thought about the statements that our pastor has made about many churches that have closed, or closed their baptismal, and others who are dropping like flys….if that doesn’t move you and shoot red flags up then there is something seriously wrong! In John 8 verse 32 it says “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” His statement about the church meeting our needs has become a true statement. Churches argue over the dumbest things I have ever heard. The issue is that if we as Christ followers KNOW the truth and know that in that comes FREEDOM! We should want to shout it from the roof tops. CHRIST equals FREEDOM! yet so many Christians are still enslaved and in bondage to “traditions” “old ways” “how we always done it” whatever you want to call it. With change comes expectations to fail. Whenever obedience followed a calling in someones life back in Bible days a major change occurred….and many even thousands came to know Christ. What has happened is that Christians have become comfortable in just knowing Christ. That’s not enough!! We can grow, and we can change worship styles, and we can change the dress code, we can even change the financial status, but if the hearts of the people are to only maintain where they are spiritually…then some major re-evaluating needs to take place. I have begun asking people why they don’t go to church and MORE times than none it is because of someone saying something to them about what they had on, “or a church got mad and split and I just haven’t gone back”, or “I always felt like I was never good enough.” Now I know that at some point sin has to be dealt with, but its not yours or my job to deal with it. Christ has a way of rocking someones world that everything changes in their life! You become someone who loves unconditionally, someone who sees potential in people, you begin to respond differently, you look for the good and hope that you are allowed the opportunity to encourage and meet people where they are. Legalism has been shunned from the very one we live for! If we are to imitate Christ, legalism cannot be any part of who you are! When others look at your life, what do they see? Do they avoid you, do they keep their concerns and pain locked up around you because they know you will throw the “SINNNNNNEEERRRR” at them. I have become so passionate about this! People….. if we don’t begin recognizing how this world that is dying without hope desperately needs the truth that we want to keep locked up in our pretty buildings, and our own personal fears… we are losing the battle! My only purpose on this earth is to point others to Christ, not send them running from the very one who can save them! Look deep in your heart, and ask God to FREE you once and for all!Legalism is like VOMIT…keep it in the trash and out of my sight! I keep saying this over and over in my head CHRIST equals FREEDOM!EMBRACE IT:) Don’t live a life enslaved to traditions and MAN made rules! Come to know Christ in a way that frees you and truly shows you WHO GOD IS!
WOW Get lost in Him…..Holly
Matthew 23:27“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.